SME Business Guide

A Step-by-Step Guide on How to Obtain a Small Business Loan in Ireland

Being an entrepreneur in Ireland can be rewarding, but owning a small business often requires financial support. This is where small business loans come into play. In this blog, we will guide you through the process of obtaining a small business loan in Ireland. From understanding the requirements to sending a solid loan application, we'll cover all the essential steps.


  1. Understand Your Financing Needs:

Before considering a lender, it's crucial to have a clear understanding of your financing needs. Determine the amount of capital required, the purpose of the loan, and the timeframe for repayment.


  1. Analyse Your Eligibility:

Typically, a lender will consider important factors such as your credit history, business performance, collateral, and personal financial situation in order to assess your eligibility. Consider these requirements and evaluate your eligibility. Reach out to the lender directly if you have any questions regarding eligibility. At Santiago SME Finance,  we use open banking which helps us to speed up this process. 


  1. Gather Required Documentation:

Prepare all the necessary documentation before submitting your loan application. For example, a business owner applying for a loan with Santiago SME Finance would require: 6 months bank statements, 1 month merchant statement and a valid tax clearance cert (or letter from your accountant if no tax cert is available). This may be different from banks and other lending firms. Organising such documents in advance will streamline the application process and demonstrate to a lender that you are well-prepared. 


  1. Build a Strong Credit Profile:

Maintaining a healthy credit profile is vital when applying for a small business loan. Ensure your personal and business credit reports are accurate and up-to-date. If there are any discrepancies, it is crucial to amend them. A strong credit history will undoubtedly enhance your chances of securing loan approval.


  1. Submit an Accurate Loan Application:

When submitting your loan application, pay attention to detail and ensure accuracy. Double-check all the information and supporting documents to avoid delays or rejections. 


  1. Prepare for the Loan Evaluation Process:

Once your loan application is submitted, a lender will evaluate your business's financial health and creditworthiness. Having the necessary KYC (Know Your Creditor) information will greatly speed up this process. At Santiago SME Finance, we ask for the following for all owners, beneficiaries, directors and signatories.


Photo ID within Date: Passport/ Driving License/ Irish Public Services Card

Proof of Address (Less than 6 months old): 2 x Utility Bills/ Bank Statement/ Credit Card Statement/ Car/Home Insurance Cert or Revenue Leger/Doc

Be prepared for this necessary due diligence, which for larger loans may include additional document requests, interviews, or site visits.


  1. Review Loan Terms and Proceed with Caution:

If your loan application is approved, carefully review the loan terms and conditions, and your capacity to meet them before accepting. Understand the interest rate, repayment schedule, fees, and any potential penalties. Seek legal advice if necessary to ensure you make an informed decision for your business.


Securing a small business loan in Ireland requires thorough preparation and a strategic approach. By understanding your financing needs and presenting a well-structured loan application, you can exponentially increase your chances of success. Remember, Santiago may have different requirements to other lending firms you have researched or dealt with in the past, so a cautious approach is advised.